I heard footsteps downstairs in the kitchen. Steve is home, he will protect me. I could feel his presence next to me, snuggled up close.
The footsteps went into our foyer. I could track the movement pretty easily since we have hardwood floors, and sound travels pretty good in our house.
Then, the footsteps started to come up the stairs. Steve! There is someone coming up the stairs!
And then I woke up - startled...looking right into Ben's face, sleeping soundly as can be. Those footsteps I was hearing were Steve's.
You see, on early shows, Steve will pop into the kids room to say goodbye, and if they are willing enough, he will take them into our room to climb into bed with me. And his last step in his getting-ready-to-leave routine, is to come into the bedroom, when I am still sleeping, to say goodbye to me.
Not only had I slept through both his phone alarm and his alarm-clock alarm, I also slept through his shower and getting ready. I had NO clue that he was about to leave. He bent over, lanyard and badge dangling over me, and kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me. I always kiss him back, and make sure he is out of harms way before I open my mouth to say I love you and goodbye. Off he went to fly the friendly skies, and I drifted back into la-la-land, with Ben by my side.
Thus started the trip which was really about as bad as they get...
Where shall I start? How about the lovely time change which fucks with my little ones, especially my spirited little one? Of course, I was the one to face the brunt of it. They will be all nicely adjusted come day 4.
Or, the bed cleaning at midnight, after a young 3-year-old peed all over herself...
Or, the spilled cup that was filled with water and green food coloring - which happened not 2 minutes after CC spilled a flower vase all over the kitchen table.
|My little Einstein makes creations all the time, and I love encouraging his creativity. What I don't love is a mess!|
This evening: Lizard Juice
Or the sick day that Ben requested due to belly issues. I was actually saying prayers that Ben wouldn't get sick...because if he did I would have to handle it on my own, and I didn't know if I was emotionally able to do that. Yes, the days were that bad. And yes, this was the scene in our car as we were driving back from picking CC up from school.
|Please don't puke! Please don't puke!|
And the biggest issue of this trip that I was dealing with? Mood swings. My patience level was that of a 2-year-old. I am sure Steve is happy that this means no kiddos are on the way, but fuck the PMS! It really does turn you into a beast!
Most trips are average...neither here nor there. Things are normal and stuff just goes along. Life just ticks away and all is good. You have been practicing this for years and years, if not decades, and you got it down. Easy peasy - lemon squeezy.
Then there are trips where you feel like a superstar. The kids are perfectly behaved all the time. The house is perfectly clean all the time. Everyone has the perfect attitude all the time. The weather is just perfect. The birds sing all the time, and a little uniform flies over the house everyday and trails a rainbow. On that last night, you greet a smiling, well-rested pilot at the door when he gets home from work. You are sure to have a perfect hot meal and a stiff drink ready, and of course the night is ended with "goodies." You got this pilot wife thing down! You ARE rockstar and can do it all!
And then you have trips like this one...where shit happens multiple times, every.single.day! His coming home can't come soon enough. At least once a day, you want to pop open a beer can, slide down that emergency exit while shouting "fuck it all." You serve dinner in front of the tv, because that will keep the kids calm and happy...and you desperately need that calm and happy so that you don't lose it:
You have to take 10 deep breaths...often...to keep yourself in the green level. You keep wine or beer, whatever your taste, close at hand to keep your calm.
|I officially love all dry, full-bodied, red wines from South America!|
I have to say, trips likes this don't happen all that often, but when they do, they suck. Every time Steve calls me, it is "your daughter is a mess" or "I am so stressed." I am sure he hates getting calls like this, but this is the fact of life...and if I am miserable, I don't mind shedding some of that onto his relaxed situation. These are the times when the solo-parenting thing just isn't cutting it, and you need to get that tag-team effort...even if it is over the phone.
Honestly to goodness, after an incredibly bad gymnastics class for CC, I called into Steve to talk to her. I knew he was having dinner/drinks with his CA, in Tampa, at some Irish bar...probably having a fun time. Sorry to rain on your parade, but your daughter was just an asshole in gymnastics. I am desperate. You need to talk to her.
Overall, the trip rounded out okay. Since I had to take a sick day mid-week, I got a "reset" in a way. I got a ton of shit done around the house, while Ben watched Top Gun and did this and that...
|future fighter pilot in the making|
And when Steve got home on day 4 with a red-eye, you bet I was happy to see him! Well, aside from him fucking up our morning routine. No, don't have CC go pee upstairs...she uses the bathroom downstairs. Don't disturb the monster. And you bet, I was sure to park my ass on the recliner that evening...sipping some wine...looking forward to the handful of days where I wouldn't have to do this parenting thing alone...